Rich Remsberg is hardly the first photographer and researcher to explore the vast catalog produced by the New Deal's Farm Security Administration photography program, but his book, Hard Luck Blues, is the first to present the photographs with a focus on the music of the era.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff
Rich Remsberg is hardly the first photographer and researcher to explore the vast catalog produced by the New Deal's Farm Security Administration photography program, but his book, Hard Luck Blues, is the first to present the photographs with a focus on the music of the era. Capturing both the joy and hardship of the times, the images offer an unvarnished look at music being played and enjoyed on the local stage before the revolution of radio and TV. Louisiana is the only state with its own chapter and Acadiana features prominently, with several images from some of the early National Rice Festivals in Crowley. Remsberg provides equally rich context to the still-vibrant images, in some cases tracking down the surviving photo subjects for interviews. Hard Luck Blues can be ordered online for $35 through the University of Illinois Press (www.press.uillinois.edu) or retailers including amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. - Nathan Stubbs
CUTE AS A BUTTON
Sky Blue Clothing Studio is all about making what's old new again. So if you're looking for accessories that are contemporary with a vintage feel, check out its original True Colors jewelry line. Owners Candace Meche and Larie Barnett use antique buttons to accent colorful necklaces, bracelets and earrings. They mix brassy chains, glass beads and a variety of other salvaged gems to create the one-of-a-kind baubles. Whether you're dressing up a sweater and jeans or a dress and cowboy boots, True Colors will make any outfit unique. A piece from the line also makes for a perfectly personal and funky gift. True Colors reflects Sky Blue's mission to bring wearable vintage to Lafayette, with two designers on staff to refurbish and tailor vintage looks for a modern wardrobe. Stop by Sky Blue, located on Ambassador Caffery Parkway next to Imelda's, and try on True Colors or any of its vintage contemporary pieces for yourself. Necklaces are $60, bracelets $30 and earrings $22. Call 534-4759. - Annie Bares
Singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon isn't a household name in his native Louisiana, but he's solidifying his status as a darling of the Americana-roots music scene, and deservedly so. An alumnus of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Gordon's poetry chops bob to the surface on his latest record, Salvage and Drift, a collection of outtakes, solo home recordings, live performances, demos and ideas culled from more than 15 years of music making. A Shreveport native who also spent time in Ruston and Monroe, Gordon is a gifted songwriter whose Ark-La-Tex roots blossom into twangy, rough-edged flowers scented with country, rock and folk influences. He spent five years in Iowa City, Iowa, studying poetry and soaking up a heartland vibe that imbues his music with stark honesty and metaphysical wanderlust, and it resonates in the dozen songs on Salvage and Drift. Coming five years after his critically acclaimed album, O Come Look at the Burning, Salvage and Drift offers an electroencephalographic-like look into the mind of a songwriter. The record sells for $12 and is available at Gordon's website, KevinGordon.net. - Walter Pierce